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Page 1: Human Resource Management Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management

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Module One: Getting Started

Welcome to the Human Resource Management workshop. As companies modify priorities and operations, human resources functions can move from a dedicated HR role, to that of the manager. Whether the majority of those important functions stays within HR at your organization, or is your responsibility as a manager, it is important that managers understand how much of their role is really about their people, as well as aspects of legislation, policy, and procedures that involve human resourcing issues.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.

John Quincy Adams

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Workshop Objectives

• Describe the implications of different aspects of Human Resource Management on their daily responsibilities

• Define human resources terms and subject matter• Recruit, interview, and retain employees more effectively• Follow up with new employees in a structured manner• Be an advocate for your employees’ health and safety• Provide accurate, actionable feedback to employees• Act appropriately in situations requiring discipline and termination• Evaluate some of the strengths and opportunities for Human

Resources in your own workplace• Identify three areas for further development within the Human

Resources field as part of a personal action plan

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Pre-Assignment Review

Consider the best manager that you have ever worked with or reported to. What was it about their people skills that make them stand out from other, less effective managers? In three to four paragraphs, describe how they succeeded with people in activities such as managing meetings, handling discipline, or increasing employee engagement. If you are not sure what specific techniques or style they applied and they are available to you, give them a call, and do a quick interview to get after those answers.

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Module Two: Human Resources Today

Human resources (HR) used to focus on very specific processes, and had narrowly defined terms such as “personnel manager” and “payroll.” As a discipline, HR has evolved to include areas which both complement and build on one another.

Nobody can prevent you from choosing to be exceptional.

Mark Sanborn

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What is Human Resources Today?

• HR has certainly evolved over the past 30 to 50 years, and branched out into defined areas, or sub-disciplines, within the scope of human resources.

• These include recruitment, employee engagement, retention, organizational development, training and development, compensation and benefits, health, safety and wellness, strategic planning, and employee relations.

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Key Factors Influencing Human Resources Today

• Technology: which has had, and will continue to, have significant impact on the way we design and structure work.

• Globalization: as companies consider working in or expanding into foreign markets, and have employees working in different locations.

• Demographics: as the core numbers of the workforce age and move into retirement, and the available talent pool becomes smaller.

• Contingent workforce management: includes using part-time, temporary, and contract workers as a way to manage fluctuations in demand and to manage long term labor costs.

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Growth in Human Resource Management

Currently, some human resources management trends include:• Onboarding (the process of bringing new people into

the company)• Proactive recruiting (beginning the recruitment

process years before they will actually join the company)

• Focus on work-life balance• Introduction of Lean and Six Sigma methods, which

encourage sustainable improvement

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Module Three: Recruiting and Interviewing

Essentially, recruiting and interviewing are about bringing the right people to your organization. The process of keeping those people with the organization is called retention. We will focus on the first two parts (recruiting and interviewing) in this module.

Do you have awesome talent everywhere? Do you push that talent to pursue audacious quests?

Tom Peters

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The Job Selection Process• Job Analysis: Here we will consider the KSA’s (knowledge, skills, and

attitudes) that are required for the position, and make sure that they are included in a job description.

• Recruit: Attract the right candidates to the position. The best way to start this part of the process is to have a good idea where your candidates are.

• Filter Candidates: It is not necessary to interview every candidate. By the same token, some folks do not interview well and yet can provide supporting and interesting information to you through screening and testing.

• Interview: Structured, formal interviews will give you far more valid and reliable results than informal ad-hoc interviews.

• Select: Check references. Make an offer to the right candidate, and be prepared to negotiate, especially in a tight labor market.

• Introduce and Retain: Now that you have your new employee, prepare to introduce them to the team, and to build on the relationship that has been established during the recruiting process.

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Get Good at Interviewing

Interviewing, as an interpersonal activity, is something that can be troubled by lack of consistency and standardization if you do not go about it well. Here is a model to assist in setting up ideal interviews, as well as some of the pitfalls and best practices.


are Know what position

you are hiring for. Get comfortable with asking open ended questions and probing. Set aside a room or interview space that makes for optimal conversation and open communication.


ign Make sure you have

ample time and questions available that fit the complexity of the job. Write your questions ahead of time, and include a scoring matrix that will allow you to easily recognize when answers that you are looking for are being showcased.



w Remember that candidates and interviews can both throw off an interview. Some people are better at sitting down to a conversation than others. It is the interviewer's job to:• Put the candidate at

ease• Maintain control and

flow of the meeting• Listen

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Interviewing Fairly• Reading body language is not always simple; a tendency to pay more

attention to non-verbal cues means you may miss what someone actually says.

• Remember, too, that if an interviewer and applicant are of similar gender, race, or share other physical characteristics, this can (and does) influence interview results.

• Women, people who are overweight and visible minorities are typically paid less than Caucasian men working in the same roles. Be aware of this in terms of employment equity.

• The halo effect is seen when a personal attribute is presumed to reflect some kind of truth.

• Contrast effects surface when the characteristics of one candidate are compared to candidates who have already been interviewed, rather than against established behavioral criteria.

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The Best Way to Interview• During the interview, ask questions that are job specific. To improve

reliability and validity of the selection process, ask questions that are relative to the job.

• Interview questions must be fair, and not lead to bias. Questions that pertain to the work as well as decisions that have been made are typically the best questions.

• When you ask questions, the best information comes from those that are “open.” An open ended question encourages the interviewee to say more than just yes or no, and to explain their answers.

• During the interview, score responses using a systematic, structured approach to evaluate their responses. If you require specific answers, build them in to your scoring.

• Finally, train interviewers in listening, questioning, and evaluation to get consistency in the interview process and consequently make better hiring decisions.

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Module Four: Retention and Orientation

is about putting things which help people stay with your organization into place. Although retention starts during the interview process, at the point where an offer of employment is made, it falls within the scope of Employee Orientation.

Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.

John Maxwell

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Getting Off on the Right Track

• Design an orientation process for the organization.• Complete the paperwork associated with a new recruit,

including reference checking; providing letter of offer; setting up candidate with benefit plan enrollment forms, direct deposit forms, and tax forms; and providing access to policies such as code of conduct, confidentiality, computer usage, and so on.

• Provide managers with tools to undertake their parts of the orientation.

• Provide an overview of the performance management program (including any kind of bonus programs, performance reviews, and attendance management).

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Creating an Engaging Program

• The hiring manager is responsible for the success of the orientation.

• The program incorporates technical and social aspects of the job.

• Employees receive formal and informal introductions to managers, working groups, and peers.

• Employees receive useful information pertaining to the company’s products, services, customers, and strategic plans.

• Employees receive required training.

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Using an Orientation Checklist

• There is tremendous value in making sure that every new candidate has an equal opportunity to learn about their workplace.

• At the same time, it is essential that they get the benefits of that warm welcome on the first day and know where to hang their coat, or go for lunch.

• When you make the effort to have things ready for that important first day (such as a ready workstation or access to tools), the employee feels welcome, and you are much more likely to have an engaged member of your workforce.

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Module Five: Following Up With New Employees

As we mentioned in the previous module, orientation is a critical aspect of employee retention. Since the orientation process takes time and planning in order to be effective, this module will focus on the next critical aspect, which is following up with new employees.

You see things; and you say, "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"

George Bernard Shaw

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Checking In

• Where a company is committed to drawing the right people, in turn they develop good people. This can help a company that is making an effort to be an “employer of choice.” If you speak to people who work for just such organizations, you probably know that their recruiting efforts are eased by the fact that candidates come to them asking for the privilege of working together.

• So how do you do your part to help your employer achieve that prestigious status?

• The answer is simple: by checking in with new employees. Just think of it this way: checking in with your employees will help them from checking out.

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Following Up

• Sometimes your follow up will be based on the employee orientation checklist from the previous module, and simply making sure that each area is covered adequately. Other items may get added to your checklist based on your conversations with the employee.

• These regular interactions, which may be short and seem informal, or follow a more formal tone, also give the employee the opportunity to ensure that he or she has made the best decision possible in coming to work with you.

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Designing the Follow-Up Schedule

• The employee should meet with you each day in the first week.

• The employee should meet with you (or your designate) every two weeks for the first three months on the job, and monthly thereafter.

• If you are new at providing this level of follow up for a new employee, and think it’s too much, then temper your approach accordingly. Always keep in mind, however, the way that the new employee feels about your workplace, their level of engagement, and what those meetings can do to ensure that you have made a good choice hiring this person.

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Module Six: Workplace Health and Safety

Understanding your responsibilities as a manager means that you do not just understand health and safety, but that you live it. In this module, we will look at your role in maintaining a healthy and safe workplace, and what areas of additional training you may want to explore.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Winston Churchill

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Understanding Your Role and Responsibilities

• The governing bodies can level fines against an employer who disregards the health and safety of their workforce, in addition to charging insurance premiums sufficient to cover the costs of the programs.

• It is very important for you, as a people leader, to understand the aspects of federal as well as provincial and territorial rules for each jurisdiction that you operate in. Each jurisdiction provides frequent training as well as information about your obligations and responsibilities under current legislation and codes.

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Understanding Local and Industry Specific Rules

• If you have health and safety staff within your organization, they can bring you up to speed very quickly on the local rules that govern your workplace. They are probably very competent at what they do, but you are the one responsible for having the required systems in place that meet the requirements of your legal obligations.

• Certain industries have special rules, and these can differ widely from one area to another. If you are working in trades, transportation, federally regulated industries, or agriculture, expect to see exceptions to things that you may already know.

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Training for Managers• Incident investigation skills are not about finding blame for an

incident (although that may be a result). Investigations identify root causes of injuries and incidents, and then put practices into place to avoid recurrences or minimize potential for further injuries or damage.

• Inspections involve systematic observation of worksites, work conditions, work practices, and equipment to identify hazards or poor work practices and make recommendations for improvement.

• Hazard Assessment and Control is a process to continually monitor all aspects of a workplace and to determine whether practices need to change in order to maintain the health and safety of the workplace. Examples include small tasks like posting “wet floor” signs, to larger jobs involving the controls placed on noxious substances.

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Module Seven: Workplace Bullying, Harassment, and


Employers, workers, and unions have all taken a serious stand on harassment and violence in the workplace, and yet these problems persist. As high as 50% of workers in Canada, the United States, and Britain indicate that they have personally been bullied at work.

Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived.

Abraham Lincoln

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• Bullying does not have an exact legal definition, but is generally considered as intimidation or abuse of authority.

• Harassment is directly related to protected areas including sex, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, or disability.

• Violence, in this context, can be defined as abuse, threats, or assault committed in relationship to work.

Incidents may manifest as:• Physical: Attacks, threats, or unwanted sexual advances.• Verbal: Offensive or critical jokes, gossip, threats, or criticism. • Written: Offending notes, email, text messages, and/or


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Costs to the Organization

• Staff turnover• Reduced productivity• Poor morale• Absenteeism • Negative impacts to employee benefit plans (through

increased plan usage)• Legal costs• Tarnished reputation• Strain on resources to deal with the complaint• Negative media coverage

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The Manager’s Role• Position yourself so that you know where you are in relation to an

opponent, and an exit.• Observe warning signs and pay attention to them, particularly if the

distance between you is narrowing, or the other person begins speaking in single syllables.

• Listen empathetically and avoid remarks that could be considered condescending.

• Instincts: listen to, and make good use of your instincts. • Talk to the other person and try to establish rapport. This will help you to

gauge, and influence, their mood. • Eye contact can also be an effective way of building rapport. Read the

situation carefully, however, as some angry people will see unwavering eye contact as threatening. Use eye contact to establish a connection, not to intimidate.

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An Employer’s Responsibility

Most organizations have policies regarding harassment, bullying, and violence within the scope of human resources or health and safety policies. Any allegation must be acknowledged and investigated in terms of those policies, which should incorporate the following steps:• Investigate immediately• Take every complaint seriously• Be objective• Attempt to resolve the issues informally if possible• Keep matters confidential for ALL parties• Follow your organization’s policies, as well as legal obligations

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Module Eight: Workplace Wellness

When your employees are healthy and fit, they are less likely to be absent from work due to illness and more likely to be engaged in what is going on around them. This module will explore the concept of workplace wellness and how to promote it in your organization.

Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body.


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Wellness Behaviors

When you apply techniques to your own life that model wellness, your employees notice. There are three important wellness behaviors that we should all focus on: • Healthy eating• Exercise• Life-work balance Of course, managers can be just as far off the “healthy living” track as anyone. Just remember that your people are watching you, and that whatever behaviors you do exhibit, they will note.

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Wellness Trends

• Wellness is not just about feeling good, and it isn’t about the employer taking full responsibility for their workforce’s health either.

• However, people are looking for workplaces that respect that they have a life outside of work, and that also make efforts to keep them healthy.

• Wellness addresses the psychological, cognitive, and physical health of your workforce. This includes issues that can originate at work and at home.

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The Case for WellnessWhat can you do as an employer?• Focus on health promotion and prevention (for example, healthy food options

and activity programs)• Provide training and education for supervisors and managers so they have

tools to recognize when employees are at risk• Promote your EAP/EFAP• Undertake Health Risk Assessments• Maintain contact with absent employees and let them know they’re missed

What can you do as an employee?• Make your health a priority• Remember that you have a duty to be prepared for work• Participate in and comply with treatment

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Module Nine: Providing Feedback to Employees

Your employees expect your feedback whether it is a pat on the back, or time for change. This module will explore some different feedback models, as well as some ways to make your feedback effective and encouraging.

Life is not fair. Get used to it.

Bill Gates

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Feedback Model

• Time and place: When you are offering feedback to an employee, give consideration to your environment, and to your timing. Never offer negative feedback in front of colleagues; it is unprofessional and can damage the reputation of the employee (co-workers seeing someone criticized in front of others tend to not forget it), and you (that you care so little for your staff that you would embarrass them in front of their co-workers).

• Types of Feedback: Just as there are many types of conversations, so are there a range of feedback models. Feedback can be formal, as we will discuss with the feedback sandwich in a moment, or informal. Informal feedback can be just as meaningful and valuable as formal feedback.

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The Feedback Sandwich

Managers often use a “feedback sandwich” as a way to provide feedback and to cushion criticism. The benefits include having positive comments that frame the critique. A feedback sandwich typically looks like this:• Make a specific positive comment• Offer critique or suggestions for improvement• Make an overall positive comment

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Encouraging Growth and Development

• Giving good, meaningful feedback is hard work. Appreciate that this is a learned skill, so you will improve with practice. Take the time to ask questions, observe, and refine your skills.

• The payoff for you as a manager is that even if you are giving someone unwanted news, they will appreciate the way that you deliver it. In addition, news that is well delivered is more likely to be listened to than is feedback that is poorly thought out, or coldly articulated.

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Module Ten: Disciplining Employees

Despite our best efforts at hiring the right people, sometimes they do not behave or learn in the way that we anticipate, and so discipline follows their actions. This module will explore some different ways of looking at discipline.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Eleanor Roosevelt

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The General Discipline Process

• Act quickly: Letting a problem linger because you do not like to address performance issues can also mean that poor work becomes the normal way of doing things within your area of responsibility.

• Clarify the expectations of the employee’s role. If he does not know what he is being measured against, it’s pretty hard for him to improve.

• Assist in approving the performance by providing adequate direction when necessary.

• Work with the employee to resolve the problem by applying a progressive discipline process.

• Clearly and consistently document the steps that you take through the process, including support, training, incidents of misconduct, meetings, and coaching sessions.

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The Progressive Discipline Process

Aggravating Factors: Although the progressive discipline policy may be clear, there can be some mitigating factors in incompetence and misconduct. These can include: • Whether the misconduct was intentional• Whether the employee accepts responsibility for

their actions• Whether the issue was an isolated or lone incident• The employee’s length of service with the company• The employee’s work history

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Having Discipline Meetings

Depending on the process for progressive discipline in your workplace, there may typically be two to three discipline meetings. 1. An employee demonstrates non-standard behavior

(misconduct or incompetence).2. If the non-standard behavior continues, the supervisor

arranges a more formal meeting with the employee. 3. If the undesirable behavior continues, a formal meeting is

arranged again.

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Following Up

• Often the initial progressive discipline meetings that you hold are enough to correct the unwanted behavior. When that is the case, acknowledge the positive changes with the employee, and move on.

• However, if more steps need to be taken and you neglect to follow up on time, you will derail the progressive nature of discipline and may end up stuck with a problem employee who never changes their behavior…and really has no reason to, since there are no real consequences anyway.

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Module Eleven: Terminating Employees

Sometimes it may seem that actually firing an employee is impossible. Here are some ways to make it work for you. Should you find yourself continually trying to modify an employee’s behavior and unable to get the desired results, then considering dismissal, or termination, is the logical next step.

You’re fired!

Donald Trump

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Documenting Events• As we discussed in the previous module, you may find yourself meeting

the employee in an advanced stage of the progressive discipline process. By the second stage, you need to have met with and discussed the matter with HR before you actually threaten dismissal to anyone.

• Your documentation must be excellent. Make sure that all of your paperwork is in order and that what you are documenting is part of the process. Stick to the facts in your documentation, and leave your personal opinions out of it.

• Part of your documentation can also come from another person, such as an HR consultant. If they attend any meetings with you, ask them to also take notes and sign them.

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Making the Decision• Am I being hard on this person unnecessarily? (Obviously

there has been continued poor performance or misconduct that has led to this stage of the process)

• How serious were the infractions or performance issues that led to this? Do I still believe that they are worthy of termination?

• What are the implications of releasing this employee in terms of backlash to the company, my work unit, and my professional integrity?

• What are the implications to me as a manager, to the results of this department, and to the morale of people working here, to keep this problem employee?

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Communicating the Decision• Communicating the termination should be done in a brief,

professional meeting. You will have the HR person with you. If the employee is aware this is a disciplinary meeting, they may have a union representative or advocate with them.

• Then, end the meeting and have the HR representative or their union representative escort them to the counselor if another room is being used, and for the HR/union representative to follow through with the arrangements for them to go home.

• When you finish with the termination meeting, you may need to decompress too. This can be a nerve-wracking task, and so you may wish to undertake a wind-down activity as a way to unwind after the meeting.

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Module Twelve: Wrapping Up

is coming to a close, we hope that your journey to understanding human resources management is well on its way. Please take a moment to review and update your action plan. This will be a key tool to guide your progress in the days, weeks, months, and even years to come. If you are thinking that each of the modules we covered is loaded with information, you are absolutely right, and we strongly encourage you to pursue your own development in each of those areas. We wish you the best of luck on the rest of your travels!

The greatest leaders are like the best conductors: they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players.

Blaine Lee

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Words from the Wise

• Winston Churchill: Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

• Leo Rosten: I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, and to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.

• Pearl Buck: To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.